Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Little Things?
A: My original inspiration for the Little Things collection came from my amazing 4 year old twin boys Finnigan and Graham. I started a business called Little Figs and a lot of the images I used for the fabric are featured on my clothing line for infants and toddlers as well.
Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A: I have always loved a soft but modern color palette so my "aha" moment was when I started combining my drawings with colors that really worked with the images and I felt that they really represented my style as a designer. I finalize most of my color direction before I put actual paint on the paper. I test the colors by painting out swatches and mix and matching them until I get them just right, then I hand draw and hand paint each coordinate and colorway. My mother, Deb Strain, taught me how to design everything by hand, and it feels really natural and comfortable for me to hand paint everything.
Q: What would be your collection’s theme song?
A: "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. I sing this song to my boys every night before bed and it really encompasses my attitude towards life and enjoying the "Little Things".
Q: What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A: My favorite part of the fabric industry is the people. I am a part-time designer for Moda, and all of the people that I have come into contact with are extremely supportive and positive! My second favorite part is just seeing all of the creativity and true artistry that is designed by the artist and then printed on the fabric! Then what all of the talented sewers make from the fabric! I am constantly in awe of their craftsmanship and creativity, too.
Q: From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A: I really love to travel and take time to go out in the world and research ideas. We really try to get away a couple times a year to get inspired. Also, I do take a day here and there locally just to clear my mind and get truly inspired by nature...
Q: What is your design process?
A: My design process includes a lot of sketching with pencil, drawing with ink, then hand painting each coordinate and colorway. It also includes a lot of coffee, conversations and opinions from my Mom, and Ray Lamontagne (my favorite singer:).
Q: What is your favorite print in the collection?
A: My favorite print in the collection would be a tie between the bicycles (in mustard, aqua, canary, and night sky) and the birds on buttons (in celery, petal, and rainy day grey). Both of them just feel really nice and nostalgic.
Q: What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A: The most challenging thing about the design process would have to be worrying whether your images are going to be liked by the general public. We sit a lot with these designs...we love some more than others and they become a part of us. So really, we are putting ourselves out there. It can be hard at times if a line does not do well, but SO rewarding when you get a lot of positive feedback!!